On Saturday, a group of supporters gathered at the University of Bridgeport to attend the Step OUT For The Brave 40,000 Step Challenge kickoff. The challenge, which is ongoing through August 15, is the signature fundraiser of the Homes for the Brave organization, which helps homeless individuals, almost all of whom are Veterans, get back to productive and meaningful lives.
The crowd, which was accompanied by over 650 participants nationwide, kicked off their step count by walking as a group to Perry Memorial Arch at Seaside Park. WTNH News 8 anchor and reporter Alyssa Rae Taglia hosted the event. Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, Bridgeport’s Community Liaison Carolyn Vermont, and CT State Representative Antonio Felipe all participated. Musical performances, including the national anthem, were performed by singer, songwriter and musician John Fazio Jr. of Bethel, Connecticut.
“I know that the pandemic exacerbated so many problems for so many people, especially our homeless population, and those that served our country are so important to us and we need to show them as much,” said Felipe.
The challenge can take place from any location through Sunday, August 15. Participants can take one step, or 40,000 or more for each of the Veterans who are experiencing homelessness across our country on any given night. Registration is open, click here to sign up.
“I’m here today to support Homes for the Brave because it's important to take care of people who supported us and allowed us to be free in so many ways. I think its an American duty to be honest,” said Lauretti.
Since 2002, Homes for the Brave has helped over 1,400 homeless individuals, almost all of whom are Veterans, to secure income, find safe and affordable housing, and make meaningful contributions to our community.
“Over the years, State and Federal funding for Homes for the Brave has fallen from 74% to 44% and that decrease means we must rely even more heavily upon private contributions. This challenge is our primary fundraiser for the year and we ask that everyone either participates, or considers a donation,” said Santilli.
Homes for the Brave would like to thank its current sponsors, including the Bridgeport Islanders; Friend of HFTB; Haynes Construction & Haynes Group; Webster Bank Arena; AT&T; BTX Global; PSEG; People's United Bank; Albertus Magnus College; Bernadette Baldino; Deadlocked Escape Rooms; King Industries; Knights of Columbus Park City Council #16; Microboard Processing; Newtown Savings Bank; T. Arduini Co. Inc.; The Original Vazzy's; Webster Bank; Liberty Printing; Tito's Handmade Vodka/Hartley & Parker Distributors; Turner Construction; Connecticare; Connecticut Community Bank; Fairfield County Bank; IPG; Mutual Security Credit Union; Petit Family Foundation; Bigelow Tea; Hirsch, Levy & Fountain, LLC; and Port 5 Women's Auxiliary.